Strauss-Kahn Detained for Questioning in French Prostitution Probe

Posted February 21st, 2012 at 6:50 am (UTC-5)
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Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been detained by French police investigating an alleged prostitution ring.

The 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn turned himself in for questioning at a French police station in the northern city of Lille early Tuesday. Prosecutors say he faces possible charges of “complicity in pimping” and “misuse of company funds.”

Specifically, prosecutors want to know if Strauss-Kahn was aware that the women who entertained him at sex parties and clubs in Paris and Washington were prostitutes and whether he knew they were paid with fraudulently obtained funds.

While prostitution is not illegal in France, Strauss-Kahn could face charges if it is determined that embezzled company funds were used to hire the sex workers.

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers insist he has not committed a crime, saying he did not know the women at the sex parties were prostitutes.

The former IMF chief could be held for as long as 48 hours under French law. He could then be released on bail or required to stay in custody pending a trial.

Strauss-Kahn had been considered a leading candidate in this year’s French presidential elections until his arrest last May over allegations he had raped a hotel maid. The charges were dropped, but the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, is pursuing a civil case against him.

This past October, a French writer decided not to pursue a civil case against Strauss-Kahn. Tristane Banon made the decision after prosecutors dropped rape charges against him.